Author Topic: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?  (Read 1790 times)

DMAC

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Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« on: November 09, 2023, 09:38:53 AM »
Hi! I find myself in a situation where I'm unsure how to proceed. To put it briefly, my manager gave notice a month ago. When he left he provided a list of responsibilities that would need to be covered. As the CFO (my manager's boss) went through the list he assigned 80% of the responsibilities to me with the expectation that it would be temporary until my managers position is backfilled.  I made it clear that I did not want to apply for my managers position as I was happy with my pay and work life balance.  It turns out that my managers position will not be back filled and that my position will just roll up into another group.  The manager of that group will not be taking on any of the responsibilities I had taken over. 

Now I'm in a position of having a significantly increased work load and believe I should get a pay bump because of it.  My concern is that we are in the middle of our budget cycle and have been an issued an "expense challenge" where roughly 5% of our total expense needs to be cut.  I'm concerned my request for an increased salary will not be received well during this time.  How should I proceed?

dandarc

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2023, 09:41:13 AM »
Ask for the raise and be willing to leave entirely if you don't get it.

Because you're now in a job you don't seem to even want, why should you be afraid of asking for more money at least?

lifeandlimb

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2023, 09:55:11 AM »
Agreed. Ask now, firmly and politely, citing the changes you have already mentioned. It's the upper management's issue to figure out how they can or can't make that work within their budget. Be ready to job search and quit if your needs are not met. Many managers won't make moves until you show you are willing to leave, but the earlier you ask for what you want, the more prepared they should be. And at least there will be a standing record of your dissatisfaction.

parkerk

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2023, 09:55:37 AM »
Do a little math and make sure to know roughly how much it would cost them to replace you, not just in what kind of salary they'd need to offer but in terms of time that it would take to recruit and train someone - if it's cheaper to give you the raise that gives you leverage for your request and makes it more reasonable. Costs you can include are recruiter time, interviewer time, trainer time, HR time, and probably others I'm not thinking of.

That said, dandarc is right that you'll have to be ready to walk away (or just live with what you've got). Companies are more and more prone to just letting the people left behind absorb the jobs of those who leave, as you're obviously discovering already.

GilesMM

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2023, 12:52:44 PM »
Show them how much money you are saving them and why it makes sense to keep you around at a higher salary.

SweatingInAR

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2023, 01:54:11 PM »
Companies are always in some sort of "expense challenge". There's never a "good time" to hire or have a big travel budget.

You have a lot of options here, but first you need to answer:
Do you want more money, or do you want fewer responsibilities?

There is always "Quiet Quitting" where you only do your old job.
You could send out a weekly report to your direct manager and grandmanager showing which deliverables are slipping because they won't hire someone or pay you overtime.
You can and should start communicating with recruiters to at least get pay ranges for equivalent jobs.
You could even apply for jobs within the same company if it's big enough. You could find one that is more like your old job, or has the appropriate title and pay range of the new responsibilities.

NorthernIkigai

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2023, 02:51:32 PM »
Hey, they’re saving 100% of your manager’s salary, they can afford to pay you a bit more!

Joking aside: never take on more responsibility or stress unless you’re also receiving more compensation in some form, be it monetary or something else you want (vacation time, clear career prospects, visibility which will help with making the next move, etc). Doing that would only be letting yourself be taken advantage of. You are not employed to do your company a favour, you are there to do a job and be compensated accordingly.

“Expense challenge” does sound very mustachian…

DMAC

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2023, 09:04:39 AM »
Thank you all for your suggestions. I did talk the CFO yesterday about my situation. Initially he suggested that we try and offload the responsibilities to get back to my original work/life balance, but when I pressed him for specifics on how and when that would happen he conceded that it probably was not possible and offered a 3% raise. I refused and let him know I expected around a 10% raise (just over 15k). He said he would need some time to get something like that approved. We scheduled a follow up meeting in a couple weeks to see where he is at.  I'll keep you posted. Thanks!

vand

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2023, 10:40:39 PM »
3% in this context isn't an offer, it's an insult.

Gremlin

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2023, 11:25:44 PM »
Thank you all for your suggestions. I did talk the CFO yesterday about my situation. Initially he suggested that we try and offload the responsibilities to get back to my original work/life balance, but when I pressed him for specifics on how and when that would happen he conceded that it probably was not possible and offered a 3% raise. I refused and let him know I expected around a 10% raise (just over 15k). He said he would need some time to get something like that approved. We scheduled a follow up meeting in a couple weeks to see where he is at.  I'll keep you posted. Thanks!

I find it difficult to believe that a CFO 'needs some time' to get that sort of raise approved.  If it was critically important to him and he didn't have immediate authority (unlikely but possible), he'd put it to the CEO immediately.  It feels to me like this is simply a delaying tactic, in the hope that you'll simply accept the status quo.  Or he'll come back with "I tried, but the best I could do was 5%".  FWIW, I don't know the absolutes of your field and whether 10% is reasonable, but a substantial increase in responsibilities should come with a substantial increase and 10% wouldn't necessarily cut it in a lot of other fields.  I'd use the next couple of weeks to sharpen the resume and start testing the market for something more akin to a fairly paid and more desirable role, be it at the higher salary/higher level of responsibility or at your previous level of responsibility, maybe even with a bump from that.

Don't let yourself be strung along at the next meeting.  "I haven't had a chance to talk this over with the CEO..." or "Yeah, we're still working through budgets..." or "I'm still waiting for external salary benchmarking on this role..." are all simply about getting you to concede your position or wear you down.

EDITED TO ADD:  Also, the idea that you should accept substantially less than you are worth simply because of some "expense challenge" is a scam.  If their nickel and diming on salaries means that they lose A-Grade staff and can only replace them with C-Graders, that's a them problem, not a you problem.  (I'm assuming that you're salaried and don't have a substantial equity stake yourself in the business - this MAY be acceptable if you hold a reasonable amount of equity).
« Last Edit: November 10, 2023, 11:29:02 PM by Gremlin »

vand

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2023, 02:20:27 AM »
While every job evolves over time and you should never expect to be doing exactly the same thing from year to year, any time there is a material step change in your workload, responsibilities, or circumstances you should be very ready to press for an increase in salary that goes hand in hand with the job you are doing, impo.

That includes:

- reshuffles where they change your job title. Hey you can bet your ass that some people are getting payrises off their fancy new job titles, make sure that you know the game and are included in the conversation
- any time there's an acquisition where you've haven't been laid off  - hey, they didn't lay you off, must mean you know something valuable, so now you have leverage
- Any time you have to absorb some of the workload of someone who's left or moved teams and hasn't been promptly replaced
- Any situation where workload or responsibilities have been increased to you in as you gain more expertise

Sometime this can mean marching into your Manager's office with a list. Sometime it's just something that you should use in your next performance review

"Expense challenge" is corporate bullshittery at its finest. Ask them how much it would cost to replace you.  And technically, as your boss's position is currently vacant, you report to the CFO by default, and worth politely pointing that out to them and that these conversations then are to be expected with your direct reports.

1-to-1 meetings become important here - if your manager leaves then you should press very strongly that their 1-to-1 responsibilities to you are assumed by their direct boss rather than just quietly dropped...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2023, 02:35:51 AM by vand »

Metalcat

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2023, 06:21:49 AM »
Thank you all for your suggestions. I did talk the CFO yesterday about my situation. Initially he suggested that we try and offload the responsibilities to get back to my original work/life balance, but when I pressed him for specifics on how and when that would happen he conceded that it probably was not possible and offered a 3% raise. I refused and let him know I expected around a 10% raise (just over 15k). He said he would need some time to get something like that approved. We scheduled a follow up meeting in a couple weeks to see where he is at.  I'll keep you posted. Thanks!

I find it difficult to believe that a CFO 'needs some time' to get that sort of raise approved.  If it was critically important to him and he didn't have immediate authority (unlikely but possible), he'd put it to the CEO immediately.  It feels to me like this is simply a delaying tactic, in the hope that you'll simply accept the status quo.  Or he'll come back with "I tried, but the best I could do was 5%".  FWIW, I don't know the absolutes of your field and whether 10% is reasonable, but a substantial increase in responsibilities should come with a substantial increase and 10% wouldn't necessarily cut it in a lot of other fields.  I'd use the next couple of weeks to sharpen the resume and start testing the market for something more akin to a fairly paid and more desirable role, be it at the higher salary/higher level of responsibility or at your previous level of responsibility, maybe even with a bump from that.

Don't let yourself be strung along at the next meeting.  "I haven't had a chance to talk this over with the CEO..." or "Yeah, we're still working through budgets..." or "I'm still waiting for external salary benchmarking on this role..." are all simply about getting you to concede your position or wear you down.

EDITED TO ADD:  Also, the idea that you should accept substantially less than you are worth simply because of some "expense challenge" is a scam.  If their nickel and diming on salaries means that they lose A-Grade staff and can only replace them with C-Graders, that's a them problem, not a you problem.  (I'm assuming that you're salaried and don't have a substantial equity stake yourself in the business - this MAY be acceptable if you hold a reasonable amount of equity).

This is absolutely a delay tactic.

If they are actively looking to fill the manager's role, then that salary still exists in their budget and while you fill the role, they can absolutely pull from that budget to pay you more.

The money is there. If they can afford to backfill the role, then the money is there and there's no way it should take weeks to approve you getting additional compensation for the additional responsibilities while you are doing them.

Do you think they're experimenting with dumping all of this on you and seeing if they can get away with just not backfilling the role? Because that's what I would do if I thought I had a way to dispense of 80% of the manager's tasks onto a lower level employee.

That said, I would give that employee a significant raise and then save the rest of the manager's salary as part of the expense challenge.

Regardless, they're full of shit and just kicking the can to see if they can find a justification to not pay you more.

Blackeagle

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2023, 08:54:52 AM »
Do you want all these additional responsibilities with a worse work-life balance, even if they come with a 10% pay bump?  In your situation I'd seriously be thinking about leaving regardless of whether the pay raise comes through or not.

DMAC

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2024, 11:49:54 AM »
Just to give a final update on this.  In January I ultimately received a 3% raise.  Excuses were given about the rough year the company was projected to have and me already being at the top of my salary range.  I accepted the raise and then started looking for other options.  Yesterday I accepted a job offer with better title and a 20% raise with about the same responsibilities I had prior to my manager leaving.  I'm giving my current employer 3 weeks notice to help with the transition and then taking a month off before I start my new job. Thanks for the advice.

Metalcat

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2024, 11:52:01 AM »
Great update, thanks for letting us know!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2024, 12:48:18 PM »
Just to give a final update on this.  In January I ultimately received a 3% raise.  Excuses were given about the rough year the company was projected to have and me already being at the top of my salary range.  I accepted the raise and then started looking for other options.  Yesterday I accepted a job offer with better title and a 20% raise with about the same responsibilities I had prior to my manager leaving.  I'm giving my current employer 3 weeks notice to help with the transition and then taking a month off before I start my new job. Thanks for the advice.
Sounds like a candidate for the "FU Money" thread.  What was your current employer's reaction when you gave notice?  Did you communicate your reason for leaving?

FLBiker

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2024, 12:55:52 PM »
Nice one!  This is why it's so great to have a stash.  If you're willing and able to walk away, it just gives you so much more leverage.

yachi

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2024, 01:40:10 PM »
This is a great update, all my best increases were from switching employers.  If I had significant increases in responsibilities, and got a 3% raise when inflation was 7%, I'd have taken it as an invitation to leave.

Dave1442397

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2024, 04:54:32 PM »
Just to give a final update on this.  In January I ultimately received a 3% raise.  Excuses were given about the rough year the company was projected to have and me already being at the top of my salary range.  I accepted the raise and then started looking for other options.  Yesterday I accepted a job offer with better title and a 20% raise with about the same responsibilities I had prior to my manager leaving.  I'm giving my current employer 3 weeks notice to help with the transition and then taking a month off before I start my new job. Thanks for the advice.

Nice work! That's what you need to do these days to get a really good raise.

Dee18

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2024, 05:49:02 PM »
Congratulations!  Always a pleasure to read a post like yours.

LongtimeLurker

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2024, 10:18:30 AM »
Congrats and thank you! Seeing someone stick it to the man always brightens my day.

mistymoney

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2024, 06:48:43 PM »
Just to give a final update on this.  In January I ultimately received a 3% raise.  Excuses were given about the rough year the company was projected to have and me already being at the top of my salary range.  I accepted the raise and then started looking for other options.  Yesterday I accepted a job offer with better title and a 20% raise with about the same responsibilities I had prior to my manager leaving.  I'm giving my current employer 3 weeks notice to help with the transition and then taking a month off before I start my new job. Thanks for the advice.

look that awesome outcome you made happen!

what did cfo say when you gave notice??

Dicey

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Re: Ask for raise during "Expense Challenge"?
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2024, 11:58:11 PM »
Yes! More details, pretty please.